Late May 2012. Jahra Pool Reserve, State of Kuwait.
Last summer my friend Aris and I visited what I termed an "incredible small wetland" on Kuwait Bay: Jahra Pools Reserve (http://biodiversityeast.com/lib/summer-waterbirds-kuwait-bay). We went back one blistering hot morning on the 29th of May to have a look at the reserve in the company of the reserve supervisor, Mr. Khalid M. Al-Ghanem - one of Kuwait's best-known ornithologists. My friend Nancy and I were really impressed at the potential that this reserve has to offer. And important changes are taking place here. The area of the reserve will expand to cover approximately 20 Km2 - while it previously covered only 0.7 Km2. Water is being supplied from tertiary treated waste water and new pipe installations are being incorporated. Although a petroleum pipeline project has recently disturbed part of the reserve the mitigation measures may actually help re-order and expand protected wetland habitat. Of course, just like my last visit last year the place was incredibly bird rich - we tallied 30 species of birds in less than an hour visit (and we visited very late in the day: 10:30-11:15 am). I was impressed at the large numbers of nesting Black-winged Stilts and lots of late-present spring migratory birds (White-winged Terns, Golden Oriole, Red-necked Phalarope et. al.). The snapshots below show the general near-midday scene- including: a) huge expanses of recently flooded water bodies (shallow pools on the Sabkha salt flats); b) Tamarisk die-back probably due to salinization of the area's ground waters; c) specific traps and decoys used by poachers who frequently enter the reserve; and d) our wonderings with host Khalid Al-Ghanem who is extremely knowledgeable and was wonderfully hospitable to us.